How the UK's Shergold Guitars and Patrick James Eggle built a tweaked recreation of Bernard Sumner's Joy Division '70s Masquerader

Shergold Guitars owner Brian Cleary (left) with Patrick James Eggle
Shergold Guitars owner Brian Cleary (left) with Patrick James Eggle (Image credit: Sherfold)

A new video from Shergold Guitars has detailed the recreation of Bernard Sumner's late '70s Masquerader guitar that he used in Joy Division, and why it has such significance to the resurgent UK company. 

"My story with Shergold started when I was sixteen or seventeen, and I was a big Joy Division fan," explains Shergold's now owner Brian Cleary. "I bought a black Shergold Masquerader Custom in 1979. Patrick James Eggle is a close friend, and we were talking one night and I realised with his help I could achieve the original dream of having Bernard Sumner’s guitar.”

Eggle is the luthier who oversaw Shergold's successful relaunch in 2017 with distributor Barnes & Mullins. And this passion project gave the company the chance to reflect and celebrate a guitar and player that championed Shergold early on with an exact spec replica. No easy feat.

 “I started scouring for months trying to find original Shergold parts," explains Cleary. "It was very important to find an original set of West German black plastic cased Schaller machineheads, which we did. We had to get an original Masquerader bridge and some original bridge saddles. So, we were able to find all these bits and pieces over a number of months.” 

Those parts were only part of the equation to create the Barney; Sumner had made a number of mods to his model. So the same cream DiMarzio Super Distortion humbucker pickup model in the bridge and DiMarzio PAF in the neck were sourced.


The replica also features the same out of phase pickup functionality as featured on the original guitar, with some tweaks…

“The layout was preordained so it was a case of deciding what to do with that layout using more contemporary switching," explains Patrick James Eggle. "We’ve got three three-way selectors. The top selector works as you’d expect – front pickup, both pickups, bridge pickup. The middle selector controls the neck pickup – in its forward position, you’ve got the front coil, centre position you’ve got both coils, and in its back position you’ve got the back coil. The bottom switch does the same thing for the bridge pickup.

Shergold Guitars Barney replica

(Image credit: Shergold Guitars)

“On top of that, we added a phase reversal switch to the circuitry, engaged via a push/pull on the tone control," adds Eggle. "So, you’ve got a lot of combinations and variation with a fairly simple control layout, which is generally how I like to do things.”

The finished Barney is now a treasured part of Cleary's Shergold collection. This was a passion project for me," he explains. "I was conscious that if Shergold was going to build this guitar – even as a one-off, it would have to be a true custom model. I didn’t just want to create a ‘copy’. So, thanks to Patrick, one of the UK’s best-known luthiers, this fantasy guitar of mine really is a custom, UK-made, Shergold.”

Check out the full video above and find out more about Shergold at

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.